Any Tips for Keeping Mixer Environment Tidy?

Discussion of Apple Logic Pro, MainStage, GarageBand and all related applications
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thedr
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Joined: 31 Jan 2004, 21:20

Any Tips for Keeping Mixer Environment Tidy?

Post by thedr » 28 Dec 2011, 13:26

I am reworking my Autoload template I would like to know the simplest way to manage Channel Strips in Logic Pro and keeping the Mixing Environment Tidy and useful.

There are a few scenarios where I am having issues:

1. Issues Creating Multi-Timbral Software Instruments Channels as needed:

I have an environment Layer for audio instruments and on the arrange page I usually first create a channel strip for a software instrument like Kontakt and then create additional midi channels as as needed using the new with next midi channel key command.
The issue with this is that doing it this way Logic stacks up the new channels of the Software instruments on top of each other. If I select them and choose Clean Up> Align Objects, or any of the other options. It aligns them in a vertical rather than horizontal fashion which is not usable. Is there a work around for this?

2. Any tips for Working with the Environment Layer and the Automatic Management of Channel Strips:

I used Logic prior to the Track Mixer and I think it is easiest to work with the environment when there is some level of customizability of what I can view. I use folders (with workarounds since they have bugs) for the track mixer and this is useful for organizing. But I have to shut off the signal flow channel strips. I usually add these manually when needed to the folder which is fine. Sometimes I like to get a view of the entire mix though. I know I can just show all and remove channel types I dont want to see in the track mixer, but I feel more comfortable when the environment layer is clean and manageable and I can scroll down to see what I want to see. I do like the Automatic Management of channel strips function since it adds and deletes channels and reworks the environment sizing as needed. I created a software instruments layer and this works well except for the issues with multi-instruments mentioned above. So I have pre-created Aux FX and Sub Busses and moved each group below the Audio tracks and master section in the environment so I have a view of everything that I can scroll down to see. It seems to work for now but it can be a little flaky so I wondered if anyone has any tips or recommendations for organizing the Mixer Environment Layer for making projects/ mixing more manageable in Logic?

WaveTable
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Re: Any Tips for Keeping Mixer Environment Tidy?

Post by WaveTable » 29 Dec 2011, 13:41

My experience is that you can't!
I try and work in the Track Mixer as much as possible and ignore the environment.
The best thing they could do is to get rid of the environment altogether, drop the notion of separate tracks for Audio, Instruments, Auxes etc. and have one type of channel which may be set to Audio, Instrument, midi and routed to anything...

I predict that this won't happen because I suspect it means a complete rewrite of the application!
Logic Pro 9, Live 8.

Camillo Jr
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Re: Any Tips for Keeping Mixer Environment Tidy?

Post by Camillo Jr » 29 Dec 2011, 16:05

This doesn't directly address your situation but it may give you some new ideas.....

I use the olde fashioned way of creating midi channels for a Multitimbral instrument. I'm very used to doing it this way and find it quite fast to set up.

Insert Kontakt
In the environment create a MultiInstrument
Cable it to the Kontakt channel
Name it, IE "Brass"
Back in the arrange, use New with Same Channel Strip Instrument command on that same track which will create a copy or subtrack of the original track.
In the track header re-assign this subtrack to: Mixer / Brass / Channel 2
The rest of your channels can be very quickly banged off with the New with Next Channel Strip Command.

The result here is you get a bunch of MIDI channels that look distinctly different from your standard channel strip. To me, this is a good thing because I will never confuse them with tracks where I can change the volume or the panning. (Which is also why I'm not sure you want them in the Environment?)

Another way of managing tracks is to use the Hide function. You can create several groups for say Brass, Keys, Violins, etc and hide them in the arrange, which also hides them in the Mixer. The advantage here of course is that you aren't bound by the limitation of folders - you can see a "keys" region at the same time as a "brass" region.

Camillo Jr
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Re: Any Tips for Keeping Mixer Environment Tidy?

Post by Camillo Jr » 29 Dec 2011, 16:12

WaveTable wrote:My experience is that you can't!
I try and work in the Track Mixer as much as possible and ignore the environment.
The best thing they could do is to get rid of the environment altogether, drop the notion of separate tracks for Audio, Instruments, Auxes etc. and have one type of channel which may be set to Audio, Instrument, midi and routed to anything...

I predict that this won't happen because I suspect it means a complete rewrite of the application!
I too use the track mixer in preference to the environment. I find it pretty flexible although I wish they had user presets for custom mixers. (There is a way but that's for another thread!)

Logic's handful of track objects works for me. Logic is a very flexible in terms of routing - Logic's buses are the epitome of flexibility.

The one kind of track object I'd like to see is a special MIDI track that would responds to pan and volume, separate from the main instance of a multitimbral track.

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LennieJ
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Re: Any Tips for Keeping Mixer Environment Tidy?

Post by LennieJ » 30 Dec 2011, 07:03

I do this the old fashioned way as well, by creating a new layer in the environment I named Multis, which contains 6 Multi Instruments, 6 software instrument channels & 8 auxs for each of the instruments.
Easily accessed from the arrange via track header.
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funkyappledog
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Re: Any Tips for Keeping Mixer Environment Tidy?

Post by funkyappledog » 31 Dec 2011, 15:09

My tip is to ditch the old way (i have auto-loads with real multi's and all sorts of detail)
These days i start projects totally ground up on the Arrange which i do customise the view,but it seems a quicker load and no walls or pre formatted structure type clutter from the ground up ,thought id just chime in here,it is not a tip but an easy way to bypass the clutter in the first place.Just don't go there and be @ home on the "range . :rockon:

RichardJ
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Re: Any Tips for Keeping Mixer Environment Tidy?

Post by RichardJ » 23 Mar 2012, 13:10

Surely the Environment window is at the top of the list for a revamp in the next edition of Logic.

Not only is it fiddly to use, but it looks like the graphics haven't been updated since about version 5.

No wonder it's all hidden in a different window!

muleskinner
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Re: Any Tips for Keeping Mixer Environment Tidy?

Post by muleskinner » 26 Mar 2012, 01:16

Create folders on your main arrange page which contain groups of related tracks (there doesn't have to be anything on the tracks so it doesn't affect how you use the arrange window).

Set the mixer to the yellow link icon (can't remember what you call this).

When you click on one of the folders the track mixer should now only show mixer objects related to the tracks in that folder. I find this a really useful way of getting organised.
====
8 core Harpertown Mac Pro, OS X 10.6.2, Logic Pro 9.1.1, Metric Halo ULN-2
====

logical
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Re: Any Tips for Keeping Mixer Environment Tidy?

Post by logical » 26 Mar 2012, 08:04

Hi,

I've looked long and hard at keeping the mixer window tidy,
and posted my findings (focused on aux buses) in an article on my blog.

You can find it here:

http://logicblog.info/logic-pro-blog/20 ... c-pro.html

Sure hope that helps, cheers!

thedr
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Joined: 31 Jan 2004, 21:20

Re: Any Tips for Keeping Mixer Environment Tidy?

Post by thedr » 18 Jun 2012, 01:34

Thought I would revisit my inital post with a solution, and I have a new question:

I found a way to address the issue with sorting multichannel instruments that I mentioned having issues with previously. All you need to do is move 1 channel strip to the left of the bunch of stacked channel strips and then select the row of channel strips and use the Clean Up>Align Objects command. This will make them sort vertically.

I will say however that I am leaning towards Camillo Jr's suggestions of using the old fashioned cabling to multi-instrument method. Putting it underneath the Channel strip in the environment is a fairly elegant solution provided you add it to the arrange page to control master levels and have access to the plugin channel strip.

But I have one issue though. I name my channel strips a certain way and I would love to have them sort so they are grouped together. I use the track mixer to show all and put the actual channel strip on the arrange page. For instance my channel strip says for instance: Kontakt (Inst 2) and the Multi-Instrument cabled to it has a Device Name of Kontakt (Inst 2) 1, Kontakt (Inst2) 2, Kontakt (Inst2) 3 and so on... I am using the multi-instrument program browser to name the sound for each midi channel but this should be irrelevant for my sorting.

When I sort on the arrange I select Track>Sort By>Inst Name, but for some reason it moves all of the Multi-Instruments (that start with K) up to the top of the list, before the A's (I like to keep my midi below my audio tracks). Maybe I am overlooking something simple or it works differently for multi-instruments? Hopefully it's not a bug. Any thoughts?

leggylangdon
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Re: Any Tips for Keeping Mixer Environment Tidy?

Post by leggylangdon » 11 May 2016, 09:45

Hi all

This is my first post so please excuse any errors :)

Not sure if any of you found this out or indeed still care but...but after some digging I have discovered that cleaning up the Environment horizontally is possible after all.

All you do is rubber band the channels you want to clean up excluding the furthest channel strip to the left of the selection. Then go to Align and it will place all your channel strips nice and neat in order 'horizontally' lined up against the furthest left channel strip. The behavior of having the strips arrange vertically is activated if you rubber band ALL the channels you want to tidy. So no bug after all.

Here's what apple say...

Align selected objects horizontally or vertically

Choose Options > Clean up > Align Objects.

The upper-left object stays where it is. The position of the next object determines whether the objects are aligned in a row or a column. If it’s to the right of the upper-left object, all objects are aligned horizontally (in a row). If it’s below the upper-left object, all objects are aligned vertically (in a column).


Enjoy your tidy Environments people! :)

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